parks en Supporters: Parks millage would end era of “spit-shine and chewing gum” maintenance <p>A coalition in Grand Rapids wants voters to approve a dedicated millage for city parks in November.</p><p>The <a href="">campaign to get people to vote for the millage kicked off </a>in an abandoned wading pool at a city park. It’s not safe anymore and will be torn up this fall. There’s no money to replace it.</p><p>Jenn Gavin watches her three year old, Milo, playing on the other side of a chain-link fence around the empty pool. She says they walk to this park regularly.</p> Fri, 06 Sep 2013 21:01:22 +0000 Lindsey Smith 14315 at Supporters: Parks millage would end era of “spit-shine and chewing gum” maintenance In this morning's news: Detroit EM, parks face cuts, postal workers protest <p><strong>Detroit EM begins job today</strong></p><p>"A bankruptcy lawyer and turnaround expert tasked with reviving Detroit's beleaguered finances could be greeted by a crowd of protesters when he arrives at work today. Kevyn Orr plans to spend his first day meeting with some city officials who for months fought against creating his job," the Associated Press reports.</p><p><strong>National parks face cuts</strong></p><p>"Visitors to national parks in Michigan this summer could see limited hours and scaled-back programs because of the automatic reduction in the federal budget. Parks in Michigan are already feeling the pinch of budget cuts affecting the National Park Service," the Associated Press reports.</p><p><strong>Postal workers protest over plans to cut Saturday delivery</strong></p><p>"Hundreds of postal workers who oppose plans to cut home delivery from six days to five picketed outside U.S. Postal Service offices in Michigan on Sunday. . . The Postal Service has been facing rising deficits. Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe last month announced plans to cut Saturday delivery, saying it would save $2 billion a year," the Associated Press reports.</p><p><br> Mon, 25 Mar 2013 11:25:39 +0000 Emily Fox 11844 at In this morning's news: Detroit EM, parks face cuts, postal workers protest 1 in 4 in Michigan buy optional state park pass, $6 million extra raised <p>The new system to help fund Michigan state parks was a success in its first year.</p><p>Before the &quot;Recreation Passport&quot; system was put in place, park visitors had to buy annual or daily window stickers.</p><p>Now, people can get access to the parks by paying an extra $10 when registering their motor vehicle at the Michigan Secretary of State (window stickers and daily passes are still an option if you didn&#39;t pay extra at the Secretary of State).</p><p>The $10 annual fee is a lot less than the $24 people used to pay for an annual window sticker, but because more people participated, more money was raised.</p><p>From the MDNR:</p><blockquote><p>In 2011, the program&#39;s first year, the DNR set a goal of 24.3 percent participation by Michigan motorists. Final tallies for the first year show that the goal was met and exceeded, with 24.7 percent of Michigan motorists checking &quot;Yes&quot; to support the Recreation Passport when renewing their motor vehicle registration. In total, the revenue generated by the sale of the Recreation Passport was $18,816,500.</p></blockquote><p>Those who paid extra for access to Michigan&#39;s state parks have a tiny &quot;P&quot; printed on their license plate renewal sticker (the rectangular sticker on the upper-right part of the Michigan license plate).</p><p>Michigan DNR spokesperson Mary Dettloff says park rangers have gotten really good at spotting that tiny &quot;P&quot; from a distance.</p><p>For 2011, that little &quot;P&quot; signifies $6 million in extra revenue for the park system.</p><p>When lawmakers set up the new program, they anticipated the extra revenue. The $6 million will be be broken up according to a formula in the law:</p><ul><li>State Parks - Capital Outlay (50 percent): $3,043,250</li><li>State Parks - Maintenance (30 percent): $1,825,950</li><li>Local Park Grants (10 percent): $608,650</li><li>State Forest Recreation (7 percent): $426,055</li><li>Cultural/Historical Facilities in State Parks (2.75 percent): $167,379</li><li>Marketing (0.25 percent): $15,216</li></ul><p><br>The MDNR recently announced the recipients for <a href=",4570,7-153-58225_58701-265132--,00.html">local park grants</a>. The local grants range from a minimum of $7,500 to a maximum of $30,000. MDNR officials say if revenues increase with the new &quot;Recreation Passport&quot; program, the maximum grant amount will increase as well.</p><p>24.7 percent participated in the program this year. Next year&#39;s goal is 30 percent. Wed, 23 Nov 2011 20:18:04 +0000 Mark Brush 5124 at 1 in 4 in Michigan buy optional state park pass, $6 million extra raised